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What is a hedge fund?
Hedge funds are alternative investments using pooled funds that may use a number of different strategies in order to earn active return, or alpha, for their investors. Whereas a mutual fund buys shares, hedge funds may be aggressively managed or make use of derivatives, options and leverage in both domestic and international markets with the goal of generating high returns (either in an absolute sense or over a specified market benchmark). Because hedge funds may have low correlations with a traditional portfolio of stocks and bonds, allocating an exposure to hedge funds can be a good diversifier.